VIVID SYDNEY is the world's largest festival of Light, Music and Ideas. If you are planning your VIVID SYDNEY night out, why not combine your...

Ghost in the Design - Inner Forces Driving Local and Global Architecture


2000 NSW

1 Bligh St
Ghost in the Design: Inner forces driving local and global architecture


Dr Tim Williams

CEO of the Committee for Sydney

Dr Tim Williams is CEO of the Committee for Sydney, ‘an increasingly influential policy forum’ (Australian Financial Review). The Committee has been welcomed by Premier Berejiklian as providing ‘key thought leadership for the city we love’. 
Before coming to Australia in late 2010, Tim was recognised as one of the UK’s thought-leaders in urban regeneration and economic development. Between 2000 and 2010 he wrote 400 weekly columns for the specialist professional journal, Regeneration and Renewal, and in 2003 was named by readers of that journal as the leading personality in the sector in the UK. This award also owed something to the profile Tim developed as CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership between 1998 and 2003.
In this position, Tim played an important role in attracting massive new investment in infrastructure into East London and established the urban renewal case which helped secure the 2012 Olympic Games for the area. In recognition of his work, Tim was appointed a founding associate member of Tony Blair’s Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in 2002. Between 2005 and 2010 Tim was a special advisor on housing, urban regeneration and planning to five successive senior UK ministers, a unique record.
As a special advisor he helped create a new national urban regeneration and affordable housing organisation, the Homes and Communities Agency, which managed an £8 billion budget. He also helped to reignite the £25 billion CrossRail project — on a ‘Thames Gateway’ alignment through both Stratford and Woolwich — part-funded through a value capture model which Tim helped to develop. Tim was part of the government team which created what became ‘UK City Deals’ now being implemented in Australia. 
He has also advised the London mayor on housing and the Australian federal minister for Housing. In 2007, he chaired an inquiry into the quality of housing in East London on behalf of the Housing Corporation and the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment published as The Williams Report. He wrote London Mayor Boris Johnson’s first draft Residential Design Guide for London in 2009 — and accompanied the London mayor on a visit to New York that year as an expert on social housing, for discussions with Mayor Bloomberg’s team. 
Tim has also worked at a senior level in the private sector. His last role in the UK was as managing director of Navigant Consulting Public Services’ team, where he acted as strategic advisor to the CEO of Lend Lease on the building of the Olympic Athletes’ Village in Stratford, East London. 
Since arriving in Sydney in late 2010, Tim has written some ground breaking and influential reports on housing, urban policy and the potential impact of high speed broadband on cities and public policy. He has written a number of columns on public policy, housing and urban issues for the main Sydney media outlets; the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph and the Fifth Estate and regularly appears on radio and TV. He is regular lecturer on urban policy issues for University of Technology, Sydney. Tim has a blog hosted by the UK’s leading urban regeneration journal, Regeneration and Renewal.
His work for the Committee for Sydney on the ‘big city’ policy issues has helped make that organisation become a key player in policy-making for Sydney. Its work with the NSW Government on developing Sydney as a global talent hub has been innovative and has had impact both on public policy and private sector best practice. He has been asked to advise on a number of key initiatives in Sydney including planning, urban renewal and governance reform. He is working closely with the NSW Government on a joint project with the Committee for Sydney — Sydney as a Financial Services Knowledge Hub – aimed at creating a platform for collaboration between the public and private sectors in driving Sydney’s financial sector.
Tim has previously advised both the South Australian and Federal Governments on affordable and social housing innovation and was a trusted source of advice on the design of the Greater Sydney Commission based on his experience of being a ministerial advisor negotiating new powers for the London mayor in 2005 to 6. He is currently advising the Australian Federal Government on its cities policy agenda. Tim was raised in public housing in a mining community in South Wales before studying at universities in Cambridge, Oxford and Wales.
He has a degree in history from the University of Cambridge (1978), having been a student at Peterhouse where he had been a winner of the PC Vellacott History Essay Competition. He has a teaching qualification from the University of Oxford (1984), a Ph.D. from the University of Wales (1990) and has been called to the Bar from the Inner Temple (1998). Tim has published Patriot Games, essays on Wales (1997), and he has written and presented a 50 minute television documentary based on his Ph.D. broadcast by the BBC in 1995. Between 1997 and 2000 he wrote a weekly column for The Scotsman newspaper. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Business School at UTS.
Ray Brown, Managing Director, Architectus

Ray Brown

Managing Director, Architectus

Ray Brown has been a director of Architectus for 20 years and has an active role in developing the strategic direction of the practice in addition to leading multiple project teams. Ray’s significant projects to date include winning the DEXUS/City of Sydney design competition and realisation of 1 Bligh Street in association with Christoph Ingenhoven, along with winning the design competition for the Qantas Headquarters Redevelopment.

Chris Bosse - Director of LAVA Asia Pacific

Chris Bosse

Director of LAVA Asia Pacific


Chris Bosse of LAVA is adjunct professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. Educated in Germany and Switzerland, he worked with several high-profile European architects before moving to Sydney. Whilst associate architect at PTW Architects in Sydney he completed many projects in Asia and the Middle East. His work on the Watercube Olympic swimming centre in Beijing received the Atmosphere Award at the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale; and he won an Emerging Architect Award from RIBA in 2008 London and a 40 Under 40 Award in 2012 and Australian Design Honour at the Australian Design Centre in Sydney in 2015.


Chris Bosse is director of LAVA Asia Pacific based in Sydney, Australia, and Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck are co-directors of the European division of LAVA, based in Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany.

At the time LAVA was founded in 2007, each of the three directors, Chris Bosse, Alexander Rieck and Tobias Wallisser, had already gathered extensive experience in architectural practice, research and teaching. Bosse and Wallisser met at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004 where two projects they had designed won awards (the Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Beijing Watercube). Rieck’s groundbreaking work as senior researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Occupational Economics and Organisation in Stuttgart was a perfect fit for their goals. 

Right from the beginning the target was to embark on a new architectural approach whilst learning from each other’s diverse experience and expertise. Alexander Rieck brings vital knowledge of innovations in the fields of working environments and building processes of the future. Tobias Wallisser researches and teaches cutting edge, digital planning technologies as professor of Digital Design at the Academy of Arts in Stuttgart. Chris Bosse bases his work on the computerised study of organic structures and resulting spatial conceptions.

LAVA operates as a unique network with branches placed strategically worldwide — Sydney, Shanghai and Berlin. LAVA operates on a ‘augmented network office’ platform, a mobile and highly flexible network of specialist designers, collaborators and external consultants. Director Tobias Wallisser is based in Berlin, Alexander Rieck in Stuttgart and Chris Bosse is based in Sydney.

Although their foundations lie in the Occident, LAVA’s projects lie predominantly in the Orient — Sydney, China, South East Asia and the Middle East — offering opportunities to develop the architecture of the future.

Projects: LAVA’s first project in 2007 was to develop an indoor ski slope in the desert near Abu Dhabi. The Schumacher Tower, with plans inspired by the geometric structures of snowflakes, and Bionic Tower feature intelligent systems and skins that respond to air pressure, temperature, humidity, solar-radiation and pollution. The Architonic trade fair stand and the Green Void in Sydney were manufactured directly from design using CNC.

The competition winning design for the city centre of Masdar — the first zero energy, zero waste and zero carbon city to be planned in the world — was one of the biggest challenges that LAVA has faced. Tower Skin, the reskinning technology developed for aged icons across the globe, won a UN partnered Zeroprize award. Smaller projects such as the solar charging station EIGHTPoint. One, Digital Origami Emergency Shelter and the Martian Embassy allow LAVA to actively explore and often develop new construction processes, building upon concepts and ideas, and allowing for more innovation.

Awards have included the 2016 Laureate European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design; 2016 International Architecture Awards; Premier’s Award at the NSW Architecture Awards, Sydney Design Awards, Australian Interior Design Award, Australian Timber Design Award, European Property Awards, Dutch Concrete Award, Perspective Awards 2013, international Iconic Awards, UN partnered ZEROprize Re-Skinning Award, I. D. Annual Design Review, IDEA Awards, AAFAB AA London, Cityscape Dubai Award Sustainability; special commendations include German Design Council Awards, fib Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures, Lightweight Structures Design Awards, 2013 IDEA Awards, NSW AIA awards 2013, Well Tech Award and Dedalo Minosse International Prize; and nominations for the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize and the Index Award.

Rebecca Gilling - Planet Ark - VIVID IDEAS Ghost in the design

Rebecca Gilling

HR Manager, A/V Projects Manager and Media Spokesperson - Planet Ark

After a 25-year career as an actor with career highlights including the iconic ‘80s mini-series Return to Eden, Rebecca retrained as a social scientist and joined Planet Ark in 2002 to manage their audiovisual work and represent them in the media. Having qualified in human resource management, Rebecca has added HR to her responsibilities, and has also gained a Masters degree in Sustainable Development.

As the daughter, granddaughter, niece and sister of architects, Rebecca was imbued from an early age with a passion for architecture. In her capacity as a presenter on Channel 9’s ‘Our House’ program, Rebecca has also been the lay member of the Australian Institute of Architects Awards judging panel. 

Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.

Event Details

VIVID SYDNEY is the world's largest festival of Light, Music and Ideas. If you are planning your VIVID SYDNEY night out, why not combine your VIVID LIGHT experience with VIVID IDEAS to make for one amazing Saturday night!

Hosted within Sydney's highly acclaimed 1 Bligh Street building, which will be lit up internally, we are delighted to present to you this insightful VIVID IDEAS event unveiling the inner forces driving local and global architecture. 

Where is architecture creating its future and how are technological and renewable developments impacting direction? How is the sector shaping and being shaped by policy, funding, environment and creative technology? Disruptor models and tradition - what are the concepts of tomorrow and where are we headed? 

Bringing together national and international industry leaders, creatives, startups, uni students and lovers of architecture. Come along and discover, experience and network with architectural industry giants and visionaries! Learn how local and international architectural partnerships are forged and world class outcomes achieved. 

The iconic 1 Bligh Street building is an architectural exemplar. It sets the benchmark nationally and is a magnificent example of international collaboration with team spirit at its core, designed by Architectus of Australia and Ingenhoven Architects of Germany. 1 Bligh is owned by DEXUS Property Group, DEXUS Wholesale Property Fund (DWPF) and Cbus Property.

This is your chance to network with inspired creatives across key architectural disciplines — all sharing their expertise and providing a catalyst for topical conversation and innovative ideas. Your night will be set against a backdrop of an illuminated city skyline with the VIVID LIGHT extravaganza!

Enjoy an in-depth panel discussion featuring local and international guest speakers, Q&A, and light food, refreshments and German beer and wine thanks to the German Consulate. The 1 BLIGH foyer will be illuminated to great effect, creating an almost cathedral like atmosphere, accompanied by live classical music thanks to the Ascham Girls School Senior String Quartet. Truly a great way to experience this iconic building's grandeur from inside and out.

Our very special guest speakers include Dr Tim Williams CEO, Committee for Sydney, Ray Brown Managing Director, architectus, Chris Bosse Managing Director, LAVA Asia Pacific, and key representatives from Cbus Property and Dexus. With talented special guest MC Rebecca Gilling of Planet Ark leading the discussions you can be sure of an informative and entertaining evening. Special guest Jun Yi Loh, winner of The 1 Bligh Street Master of Architecture Final Year Prize in Sustainable Highrise Architecture will also have his award-winning work on display for the evening!

Why not make this special occassion your Vivid Sydney night out by heading to Circular Quay after the event for restaurants, bars and the magnificent harbourside light displays on Saturday 3 June. 

Doors open at 6pm with classical music performed before the panel discussions begin at 6.30pm. Limited tickets available so get in quick to reserve your seat.

Sustainability and architectural features
1 BLIGH is an ecologically sustainable development and was awarded six-star green status by the Green Building Council of Australia. Green features include a basement sewage plant that recycles 90 per cent of the building waste water, solar panels on the roof and air conditioning by chilled beams.

It is Australia’s first major high-rise building with a full double-skin façade with external louvres. These conserve energy, eliminate sky glare and optimise user comfort. The angle of the louvre blades is automatically adjusted according to their orientation to the sun. A naturally ventilated, full height atrium, on the southern side of the building, maximises natural light to each office level.

The building also houses a childcare centre, two cafés and a basement car park for 96 cars.

The large-scale aluminium sculpture at the top of the curving steps at the entrance on the corner of Bligh and O'Connell streets is by New York-based Australian James Angus. The developers describe it as "a complex network of three-dimensional ellipsoidal surfaces drawn from shapes expressed in the design of the building", adding that its brightly painted colour scheme traces the underlying geometry of the sculpture.

Awards include...
Best Tall Building Award in Asia & Australasia 2012 in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's Skyscraper Awards  International Highrise Award 2012

Major building tenants
Bloomberg L.P. - Clayton Utz - Office of the Prime Minister of Australia - Commonwealth Parliament Offices - Oil Search

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Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.